After spending the time and effort to build up your own negotiation techniques, you might also want to begin sharing these strategies with the world. One way you can accomplish this is by constructing your own negotiation course. Not only will this help you, but it could also work toward creating a better audience for negotiations.
Building a course on effective negotiation is an honorable activity for individuals who would like to extend their skills to help others become better negotiators in their lives or in their businesses. Whether it is taking place at work or with family, knowing how to negotiate successfully makes interactions smoother and more effective.
No matter who you are, negotiation is a beneficial skill—it is also one that can be carried throughout life, allowing individuals to improve their relationships.
Creating a negotiation course of your own is a fulfilling experience, as this gives you the opportunity to help those looking to get ahead at work and earn higher positions within their respective companies—however, it also allows you to help individuals looking to receive the best deal when working on contracts or other important business negotiations.
Nevertheless, even if you have already mastered the art of negotiation, this doesn’t mean it’s easy to begin a class of your own. We’ve likely all had that genius math teacher who intuitively understands the magic of numbers but is terrible at actually imparting to students how to do math. Don’t fall into that trap. Learning how to teach is just as important as what you are teaching.
To share your skills and knowledge most effectively, be sure to keep the following advice in mind.
Critical Elements of a Successful Negotiation Course
Although every negotiation course is going to be different, and not every successful negotiator takes an identical approach to their craft, there are still some tenets you will need to adhere to. That way, you can boost your chances of building a fantastic course.
Keep the Information Practical
As you create a plan for your negotiation course, make sure that you are building it around facts, figures, and techniques that actually work in practice while negotiating with others. This should include information that the participants can actually use and apply to their own negotiation strategies to see improvement.
In essence, it’s vital that you provide students with information that they can actually use in real life, from negotiation to negotiation. This way, you can maximize the chances that your students will come out of the course confident and ready to negotiate. If your participants still feel defeated and stressed about facing certain situations, then this means that you aren’t giving them the best and most practical information.
Your Course Should Be Interactive
For your students to get the most out of your negotiation course, it will need to be interactive. If you are only focusing on the lecture component of your course, it won’t help students develop and refine their real-world negotiation skills.
The art of negotiation is a learned skill, and as with most skills, practice is necessary to improve. For instance, if you’re looking to keep your negotiation course as engaging as possible, try creating an online platform where students are required to watch lectures and partake in quizzes periodically throughout the course. Quizzes and other forms of examination are a great way to keep your students engaged with the course, allowing them to get a better sense of their own process.
Stay Patient As You Build Your Course
Finally, keep in mind that you’ll need to remain patient while building an effective negotiation course. Creating this type of specialized, skill-based course is going to require an abundance of expertise and knowledge. If you aren’t already confident that you have the knowledge to succeed with your course, avoid rushing into it.
Building a negotiation course requires time and patience; a course that was rushed isn’t going to benefit students as much as one that was carefully and meticulously mapped out.
7 Techniques to Include in Your Negotiation Course
Learning to negotiate skillfully can’t precisely be done using a rigid step-by-step guide. Rather than presenting your students with a procedural, it’s best that you introduce them to the most common techniques used during successful negotiations.
Of course, it’s also true that negotiation is an art that requires understanding your audience. For instance, if you don’t know that in 2020, the wage gap between men and women doing full-time work dropped to 17%, then you’re already at a disadvantage. It’s more than about gender, though that’s an issue, too. Realize that teaching negotiation tactics means understanding why economics, gender studies, and even updates to COVID-19 protocols matter to any type of discussion you’d want to enter.
Different individuals are going to develop unique strategies and sets of techniques, depending on their personal style of negotiation. So, present the following techniques to your students and give them the tools that they need to begin developing their personal negotiation style.
- Find Points of Parity and Points of Leverage
During a negotiation, teach your students the value of looking for points of parity and points of leverage before using these observations to guide the conversation.
Points of parity are areas where you and your negotiating partner are on the same page or are in agreement. On another hand, points of leverage are opportunities for the negotiator to leverage the session in their favor, based on what their partner has indicated about their own position or objectives.
- Use Silence As a Negotiation Tool
It can feel counterintuitive for many individuals, especially those without experience in negotiation. Still, silence is actually one of the most valuable negotiation techniques someone can employ—of course, assuming that they understand when and how to utilize it.
Although many individuals become uncomfortable during extended silences, it’s sometimes best to allow silence to linger rather than rushing to get a word in. This allows you to put more care and consideration into your argument, but it also pushes your negotiation partner to fill the silence and possibly concede.
- Don’t Reveal Your Negotiating Hand
Next, ensure that your students know the benefits of keeping their negotiating hand to themselves. There are many instances where showing your negotiating hand is unwise—for instance, would providing the information take away from your own power or control over the discussion? Is the information sensitive or privileged? Or, is it information that could fluctuate or change in the future? In any of these instances, your students should understand that it may not be in their best interest to reveal their negotiating hand.
- Know When to Walk Away
Sometimes, negotiations fail; it would be unrealistic to expect otherwise. Your students should be aware that they don’t always need to settle if it means reaching an unfair agreement or an agreement that goes against their ethics and values. Also, make sure that your students know to prepare for alternatives in advance in case negotiations are ever unsuccessful.
- Be Prepared for a Drawn-Out Negotiating Session
In a similar vein, while other negotiating sessions may not fail, they won’t necessarily be simple. This is why it’s important to always prepare for a drawn-out or even contentious session, where an agreement is in reach, but it isn’t exactly quick to come to. It’s easy for inexperienced negotiators to be discouraged by these types of sessions, which could damage their ability to negotiate the longer the session goes on.
- Find Negotiating Mentors
Fortunately, if a student has already sought your course for help, they already understand the value of learning negotiation from others. Provide your participants with information on how to find their own negotiating mentors so that they have someone to practice with one-on-one.
A mentor should be an individual with extensive negotiation experience who is able to directly provide guidance and first-hand practice experience to individuals who are new to negotiation. If your students are looking to build their skills even faster, the aid of a mentor can be highly valuable.
Lastly, as was mentioned in the previous point, first-hand negotiation practice can be incredibly valuable. Although real-world negotiation is going to help individuals improve and gain experience, it’s sometimes good to practice in a session with lower stakes.
That’s precisely why negotiating training can be so valuable. Your students will have the opportunity to use the skills and techniques they have learned throughout your course without anything truly being on the line. As with any skill, of course, training is going to be one of the most effective ways to improve.
Becoming a Better Negotiator With Advanced Techniques
As a whole, through learning advanced negotiating techniques (such as the ones listed above), it’s easier to develop a toolbox you can pull from at any point during negotiations. The more skills and techniques your students become comfortable with, the more adaptable they will become, and the more successful they will be as negotiators.
If you’re looking to start your own negotiation course, then it’s certainly worth going through with this plan. Negotiation is one of the most valuable and versatile skills someone can develop, although it is also one that many individuals struggle with. If you’ve mastered the art of negotiation, then it’s certainly worth sharing that knowledge with those seeking it out.
However, if you need assistance filling that knowledge and skill gap, be sure to get in touch with Shapiro Negotiations Institute. You can reach out to us through the contact form on our website if you have any questions about our negotiation training program.